Volume 53 Number 25
                    Produced: Tue Dec 19  5:59:30 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Carrying Infants on Shabbat
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Katonti/Kotonti (2)
         [Orrin Tilevitz, Emmanuel Ifrah]
Neturei Karta
         [Martin Stern]
Posul Eidus
         [Daniel Wells]
Time, Memory, Remembrance and Kaddish
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Vote for President Joel
         [Ben Katz]


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 09:05:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Carrying Infants on Shabbat

1.  Avi asks why I

> expect sefaradi psak to be different from ashkenazi psak on the the
> question of carrying an infant in a carmalis (or other area that is
> neither reshut harabim or reshut hayachid - an area that is neither
> public nor private from a halachic view of carrying on shabbat)?

To begin with, I should have been more vague and simply said 'child'.
But I didn't expect sefardi and Ashkenazi psak to be different.  I
thought it MIGHT be because (a) some knowledgeable or semi-knowledgeable
Israeli sefaradim in my Brooklyn neighborhood have their barely-walking
or non-walking kids in strollers on shabbat, or otherwise somehow get
them to shul, and (2) when a cooking-on-shabbat question came up, one of
them suggested that since he was sefaradi he needn't follow one of our
typical Ashkenazi chumras.  My basic difficulty is that I don't have a
sefaradi rulebook - if one exists - and know nothing about the
development of sefaradi halacha between R. Yosef Karo and R. Ovadia

2.  As to the infant/child distinction, I am not sure it is as
black-and-white as Elazar Teitz or Josh Backon portray it.  The gemara
(in the sugya cited by Josh Backon, Shabbat 94a) suggests that
prohibition of carrying a 'tinok' in reshut harabim is only rabbinic
because 'hachai noseh et atzmo'.  The gemara says that this does not
extend to some who is dead or tied up.  The Rambam, who is the only one
to bring this particular discussion down as halacha, uses the word
'tinok', leading to the inference that the principle could extend to a
baby who can't walk yet.  In fact, while the Mishna Berura, at the place
cited by Rav Teitz (308:41) brings down as halacha that it does not, he
says only that this is the opinion of 'rov haposkim', implying that some
poskim hold that the principle applies even to a newborn (and so leaving
open the theoretical possibility that sefaradim could so hold).

3.  Interestingly, I do not believe the gemara uses the principle of
'hachai nosei et atzmo' to permit carrying.  It uses the principle only
to reduce the prohibition from toraitic to rabbinic (i.e., one carrying a
child in reshut harabim would be exempt from a sacrifice).  It should
follow logically that carrying the child where the prohibition is only
rabbinic to begin with would be permissible in the first instance, but
the gemara does not go that far.  And in fact the halacha (at least
according to Ashkenazim) does not necessarily go that far.

4.  Where it does is when the kid is sick.  There are two types of
'sick'.  One may violate a rabbinic prohibition for a sick person who is
not in danger.  Therefore, says Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchato (16:48-49),
one may carry a baby in this state outside reshut harabim, and one may
carry a child in this state who could walk even within reshut harabim.
For a sick person who is in danger, even toraitic prohibitions are
suspended, so one may carry even a baby in this state and even in reshut

5.  As for Carl Singer's glove question, it occurred to me that if, as
is likely, the street is not a reshut harabim de'oraita (or it is
possible to carry the glove less than 6 feet, stop, and then carry it
some more), the answer may turn on a discussion we had on this list some
months ago, whether rabbinic prohibitions are suspended for kavod


From: o7532 <o7532@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 18:13:52 -0500
Subject: Environmentalism

In light of E.O. Wilson's, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on
Earth, are there any tshuvot on global warming.  Is this the ultimate in
ba'al taschit making environmentalism not simply take it or leave it.
Or, is there some messianic take that has that these sort of things,
like the earth moving towards ceasing to be inhabitable or towards
species extinctions, beyond our purview.


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 08:03:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Katonti/Kotonti

Dr. Hendel writes:

> The suggestion was made that it would be "improper" to have an ascending
> note like AZLAH GERESH on the word KATONTI which indicates humility. I
> acknowledge that such homilies appear from time to time in the
> literature. However with one exception the TROP never reflect inuendoes
> on meaning. The one exception occurs in Is 45:1, and is explicitly
> mentioned in the Talmud.

I actually didn't suggest that; I suggested that some scribe might have
thought that.  But I believe there are lots of other exceptions.  To
begin with, consider the few instances of a shalshelet in Chumas: Lot
tarrying, Eliezer spending lots of time davening, Yosef saying 'no';
Moshe Rabbeinu officiating for the last time.

From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2006 14:35:29 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Katonti/Kotonti

Russell Jay Hendel wrote about Hebrew word "Katonti" in Gn32-11: "The
Leningrad 19b codex is the oldest complete codex of the Bible that we
have. The Leningrad 19b has an AZLA GERESH."

I just checked in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (faithful rendition
of the Leningrad Codex) and the word does not have an azla geresh. It
has a simple *geresh*.

This also solves the comment about that being improper to have an
ascending note like azla on a word which indicates humility. It does not
indeed. It has a descending note (geresh) that perfectly well matches
the meaning.

Emmanuel Ifrah


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 17:58:41 +0000
Subject: Re: Neturei Karta

On Sat, 16 Dec 2006 19:00:51 EST, <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
wrote (among other things):

> I always said that the haredi blaming of the Jews for the Holocaust was a
> problem. Now you see where it leads...the six million deserved to die?
> when does it stop?
Quoting from a report in the (London) Sunday Times, she continued:
> A BRITISH rabbi who angered fellow Jews by speaking at a "Holocaust
> denial" conference in Iran
> Ahron Cohen, whose house in Salford was pelted with 1,000 eggs last year
> because of his extremist views, told The Sunday Times: .....

Apart from the bad publicity it gives to the Jewish people as an unruly
mob when such reports appear in the non-Jewish press, is it really
correct that eggs which are fit for human consumption should be wasted
on such a contemptible person? By all means cross the street when you
see him or walk out of the room when he enters but such riotous
behaviour reflects adversely on its perpetrators however justified their

Martin Stern


From: Daniel Wells <wells@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 00:14:14 +0200
Subject: Posul Eidus

> Finally I mention that there are many "commercial presumptions" of
> allowance of pen usage (to both Jews and non jews). For example if I
> enter a doctor's office or bank I am allowed to use the pen's there
> since they are left out for such a purpose and this is common
> usage. It would appear to me that since the usage is minimal I would
> even be allowed to enter a bank and use the pen to eg address an
> envelope (Provided I dont intefer with customer usage of the pens).

What about Shaila al tnai? If your friend borrows your 'public' pen to
scratch his head or stir his coffee would you agree that this is normal

The reason the bank supplies pens is not as a free loan society, but
rather as a service to their customers doing bank business.

Would a penless student be permitted to do his school work in the bank
using their pens?

So why should it be allowed to use the pen to eg address an envelope?



From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 11:25:51 EST
Subject: Time, Memory, Remembrance and Kaddish

Madonna has a hit song that begins with the sound of a clock ticking -
her voice chimes in: "Time goes by, so slowly, so slowly, slowly."
Maybe sometimes. But not right now - time is passing like a runway train
for the sons and daughters of survivors who are watching their parents
fade away. Yes, the Holocaust survivors are getting sick and
dying. Everyday, another connection is broken.  Sadly and
broken-heartedly, some survivors literally lose their minds before they
go - a horrible thing for a child to watch.

Others soldier on, determined to set an example for their children. Once
again they will defy reality and survive. Watching them walk despite
agonizing pain, seeing them carry on despite the odds, is a little
scary.  They set a standard of spiritual and philosophical living that
some of their children may not have the courage to emulate. For watching
our parents and their friends face the challenges of the elderly reminds
us we're next - and yet there is so much left to do to fulfill the vows
our parents made to those left behind, and to keep the promises we made
to our parents.

A conscientious 2G can spend everyday, all day, paying respects at
funerals and making shiva calls. It is a wrenching experience, made more
difficult by knowing the task of teaching the lessons of the lives of
those who are passing - from the Judaism of their childhoods, to the
terror of the Holocaust, to the lives they rebuilt and gave us - is far
from done.  In fact, in some places there is already erosion, a
misinterpretation, a trivialization, and perhaps worst of all, the
exploitation of the Holocaust in unsacred and even in evil ways. It is a
desecration to the Six Million that the aging and often ailing survivors
find hard to swallow, along with their prohibitively expensive medical
care. Only now they are too weak to fight back. They just don't have the
energy. We have to help them and carry on for them.

Six Million, a number they've tried to realize in paper clips and
pennies. Who were they? They were our aunts and uncles, our
grandparents, and yes, even sisters and brothers. I lost a half-brother
in Auschwitz.  His name was Chaim Lazer, and his mother's name was Sarah
Gelb, the furniture maker's daughter. I mention them because no one else
does.  There is my uncle Chaim Lazer Friedman, too, who disappeared in
the morass of murder, grandfather Naftalie, and cousins whose names I
never knew. How shall we remember each soul?

David Gold, a Modern Orthodox 2G sitting shiva in Wesley Hills put forth
an idea. His mother, who hailed from the Carpathian Mountains, died from
ovarian cancer, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. He and I
were fellow troublemakers at Brooklyn College 36 years ago, when the
Jews began to assert themselves on campus and demanded and got courses
on the Holocaust. Davy handed me the eulogy he'd given on Friday
morning, and it brought tears to my eyes, for he had done something
others had forgotten to do. When he spoke of his mother, he spoke the
names she taught him to remember, the names of those he never met - his
grandparents, his aunts, his uncles, his cousins. To those in the
chapel, he recalled what had happened to them under the hands of the
murderous Germans and their allies.

He said, "Maybe we should remind all the 2Gs, when they have to give
hespedim for their parents and family members, to remember those who
didn't have a funeral, and give them a place to have kaddish said for
them. After all, our parents promised to remember them, and we said we
would do the same. Wouldn't it be something if everyone did it? We could
actually say kaddish for some of the kedoshim and remember them by


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 15:28:43 -0600
Subject: Re: Vote for President Joel

>It is certainly a good thing that someone like President Joel receives
>that many votes because it means among other things that Yeshiva
>University is now a mainstream institution.  But I don't see why,
>without knowing a lot more about him and his competitors, I should vote
>for him.  To vote for a Jew simply because he's a Jew is an example of
>particularism that contradicts the universalist principles that Yeshiva
>University endorses and without which it could not be a mainstream
>Noyekh Miller

         Dr. Joel Roth is doing a great job re-invigorating the Modern
Orthodox side of YU, bringing in people like Rabbi Dr JJ Scachter, Marc
Gottlieb ...

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


End of Volume 53 Issue 25